Rescue Hovercraft

During emergencies, rescue operations need to be fast to respond to various situations. In mud, quicksand, floods, ice or mixed terrain, conventional vehicles have serious limitations, and to overcome access issues then need auxiliary equipment such as floatation platforms to reach victims from mud and ice.

The Hov Pod SPX All Terrain Rescue Hovercraft (ATRH) can be configured to carry people or relief aid or rescue equipment and staff. The Hov Pod All Terrain Rescue Hovercraft (ATRH) can be modified to take specialist equipment, for spine boards, GPS, VHF radios etc. The ATRH is significantly more cost effective than larger hovercraft or helicopters and its size makes it very versatile and maneuverable to access constricted areas.

The Hov Pod SPX TCC+ Rescue Hovercraft can be deployed quickly and safely in areas where traditional boats and all-terrain vehicles cannot get access.

During flooding emergencies, a lot of garbage will float in the water and traditional rescue boat propellers easily get snagged and become immobilised; water jet in-take engines are also affected; hovercraft do not have propellers or jet in-take engines. Rescue boats are restricted by fast running water, whereas the Hov Pod SPX TCC+ Rescue Hovercraft will hover typically 8 inches above the surface and is therefore less affected.

Traditional vehicles cannot access tidal waters, or traverse over sand and mud flats, or reach victims that have fallen through ice. Helicopters are expensive to operate, and 100 mph downdraft winds require a long winch cable which slows response times – when waters rise, victims climb trees and pylons, helicopters cannot see victims under thick tree cover or operate near pylons.

TCC + Specification

For rescue and commercial operations we recommend that you select the TCC+ hull, our latest version craft with dedicated and improved specifications to meet the demands for rescue use. The TCC+ craft incorporate a higher specification increased hull thickness in impact areas through more material and a more complex and costly oven cycle time to get more strength into the outer periphery of the craft, plus military spec. cooling system and gantry, additional electric power points.

Colour Options

The Hov Pod SPX TCC+ Rescue Hovercraft craft can be ordered in choice of colour, in standard Red, Blue or Yellow, or for visibility, the option is available for Rescue Orange.

Rescue Options

There are a number of recommended options for rescue applications, we can send you a detailed price estimate in pdf format or excel format if you wish to configure the craft in your currency.

Rescue Considerations

Global warming, regardless of whether man made or natural, appears here to stay and more likely to create more flooding emergencies. Flooding can disrupt a large area and wash away roads and bridges. If flooding is widespread, response capability can be severely hampered by not having the right equipment in the right place at the right time.

The Hov Pod SPX TCC+ Rescue Hovercraft is designed to be easy to use and affordable - cheaper to buy than the daily operation costs of some helicopters and large hovercraft.

Ease of Operation

The operator does not have to have special hovercraft pilot certification, so many rescue hovercraft can be deployed over a large area to respond where required - larger hovercraft are often in the wrong place and can only be operated by highly trained pilots in open areas. Larger hovercraft can cost many times the cost of one Hov Pod, so a fleet of Hov Pod Rescue Hovercraft can transport more personnel and essential goods, to where and when they are needed. It is easy to operate with a minimum of training and anyone can learn to drive it in about 15 minutes, it really is simple and designed to make life easy. We spent time to design out the need for confusing extra controls and careful attention to detail on the balance and trim of the craft so the Hov Pod is simple, instinctive and easy to drive. This also allows you to train anyone to operate to use it as and when it is necessary to do so - no special training required. We sell direct since the Hov Pod is easy to operate, and maintain.

Respected Brand

Many rescue organisations have purchased the Hov Pod SPX TCC+ Rescue Hovercraft including the United Nations World Food Program, Argentinean Coastguard, Hong Kong Harbour patrol, DLRG, and The Red Cross. The Hov Pod SPX TCC+ Rescue Hovercraft has saved lives during a number of flooding and rescue situations.

Why Hov Pod is different

The Hov Pod Hovercraft is the only hovercraft currently available manufactured from High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE). All terrain vehicles need to be very strong and take punishment in day to day use over ice, water debris, stones, rocks, rough terrain and bumps and dips in the surface. The new generation Hov Pod incorporates a 3-layer TCC HDPE composite. The superior weight to strength ratio for TCC HDPE is vastly superior to glass fibre, that is why it is used for kayaks (that continually hit and ride off submerged rocks) and to create artificial joints, ice rink puck impact plates and F1 crash barriers. This ensures that the Hov Pod is lightweight, extremely buoyant, yet far stronger and more impact resistant than brittle glass fibre (GRP) which cracks and breaks on impact. You can hit HDPE with a mallet or jump up and down on it without cracking it, which means that the Hov Pod can withstand operational use, impacts, knocks and bumps that destroy other craft. HDPE allows us to manufacture hulls at a faster rate to improve delivery times and respond to growing demand. Unlike GRP that requires special backing plates to be bonded in and fiberglass skills HDPE is very easy to modify and adapt to accept mounts and extra equipment

As an example our demonstrator craft has been driven up and own our local debris infested river and tidal banks on average twice a week for 4 years. In that time we demonstrate the hulls durability by going over rubble, blocks, stones etc and after 4 years of this recently turned our hull over to replace the sacrificial skids we fit………….no hull damage had occurred despite regular knocks and bangs and a few heavy impacts with larger debris lying on the shore. After 4 years of use the owner is far more satisfied to have chosen HDPE as a material that withstands these knocks as opposed to an alternative hull material that is severely worn down, damaged or has shattered into pieces, sometimes in only 6 months.

Ice and snow

Because of this HDPE hull the Hov Pod SPX TCC+ Rescue Hovercraft is ideal for general rugged use but in particular over ice and snow. Unlike snowmobiles and boats the Hov Pod SPX TCC+ Rescue Hovercraft is a true year round solution and is not affected by thinning ice, water pools, melting ice, broken ice or access to or from ice or water lakes.

We have supplied craft for use in Scandinavia, Canada and Central Europe; please see some of the You Tube links at in our video area on the website. The Hov Pod SPX TCC+ Rescue Hovercraft hull is far more suitable than thin glass fibre constructed hovercraft hulls that shatter on impact with ice or debris in water or mud. This characteristic is particularly comforting in cold climates as some glass fibre hovercraft in the past have sunk or let on board freezing water exposing occupants to the threat of hypothermia.


The Hov Pod SPX is in a class of its own, designed by CAD and made on CAM machines from highly durable materials and processes. This means that components such as the drive parts are made to high levels of accuracy and quality for increased operational durability, safety and reliability. The Hov Pod unlike many other craft is also designed for salt water operation with enclosed quick lift off engine covers and parts such as high specification electrical components and stainless steel fittings to minimise corrosion and increase operational reliability and safety. The simple yet rugged design and use of quality components mean that servicing where required is easy to undertake.


The Hov Pod SPX is designed with safety in mind, compared to other craft it is the class leader made from high quality durable parts and with many features unique to the Hov Pod such as HDPE impact resistant hulls, anti rip skirts, rear guarding, ease of operation, anti plough (most craft dig in at high speed, operators can be thrown dangerously forwards and then don't have enough power to get going again) and unlike most other craft (which actually will sink if flooded) contain complete integral flooded conditions buoyancy. Some craft even take on water in calm conditions if they are incorrectly balanced.

Skirt Material

Cheap thin skirts get ripped and are expensive to keep replacing, and dangerous if ripped by debris or ice, so we have rejected Hypalon (which rips too easily) and Neoprene coated nylon (which suffers from UV degradation) The Hov Pod SPX TCC+ Rescue Hovercraft skirt material is a unique specially developed Polyurethane / Nylon weave and fabric combination with anti-rip properties and incredible wear resistance. It means you can operate in far greater safety and will not be forever changing or repairing skirts. Even when cut by sharp scissors it is almost impossible to extend the cut. 65 Individual skirt sections and the unique IAPSS skirt design gives far greater flexibility, continued operational ability and high speed safety.

Request Samples

To receive samples of the unique HDPE hull and Polyurethane / Nylon weave skirt materials, please contact us.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Hovercraft versus helicopters for flood rescue operations

Hovercraft versus helicopters for flood rescue operations

An Iraqi military helicopter providing aid to civilians fleeing the IS militants recently crashed near the Sinjar mountains in northern Iraq, killing the pilot, army spokesman Qassim al-Moussawi. The helicopter crashed after too many civilians tried to board it - helicopters are weight sensitive, and have lifting restrictions, so sad to hear this news. Helicopters are weight sensitive vehicles like hovercraft, and rescuers need to understand the payload restrictions that affect rescue missions. 
Here are a few comparisons, hovercraft versus helicopters

Compared to the cost for purchase and operating costs, a rescue hovercraft can offer far better value than a helicopter in many search and rescue scenarios. For the price of one helicopter, you could buy 10 or 20 rescue hovercraft. Obviously lifting refugees off the top of mountains can only be done by helicopters, but in flood, ice, mud, sand and inland water rescue scenarios, hovercraft can prove very useful.

The HH-60G Pave Hawk combat search and rescue helicopter (a version of the US Army’s Black Hawk, made by Sikorsky, has a four man crew, can carry 12 troops and is capable of hoisting 600 lb (270kg). 
Rescue Helicopters Weight Limitations

During rescue missions, a helicopter will generate 100 mph downdraft winds and this requires long winch cables. A winch man is usually lowered to secure the victim to the safety harness, and he may weigh 200 pounds, leaving 400 pounds max limit, so maximum of two victims can be lifted. Helicopters are noisy, so helicopter to ground communications rely on radio contact, not possible during flooding emergencies.

Flood rescue victims try to escape rising waters by climbing trees, pylons or buildings. Helicopters are restricted in operation in areas where their rotor blades may make contact with tall structures. Tree cover will restrict visibility.

Rescue hovercraft have better communications contact with the ground, have no propeller to get snagged on under-water obstacles or plastic bags, rice sacks etc. Flooded waters are usually contaminated by sewerage, and boat rescue crew usually have to get out of the boat and push - street furniture, wire fencing and damage propellers making them useless. 

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Rescue Uses

Rescue Uses

Hov Pod Rescues Kayaker

Hov Pod Rescues Kayaker